Another rough excerpt…..

Ellie didn’t want to stop running. If she did, she knew she would surely die. All the shadows were waiting to attack her. They moved through the night, they spoke through the wind and they ran beside her carrying knives, bats, chains and other devices to kill her with. Every shape chased her with ill-intent; they were with her everywhere she went. No matter how much she pushed, they were always right there with her. She could not out run the shadows.

As she ran, she could hear herself crying. At first, it was a foreign sound she could not identify, for her mind was so addled, so warped, as if shoved violently into another dimension through a hole much too small, that all that was real to her was the rushing blackness through which she fled. But, soon she came to know her own sobs and, becoming both angry with and ashamed of herself, she did everything she could to fight them. Their flowing distorted her vision and made her vulnerable. She felt so weak and out of control, and this only tilted her mind even more. Trying to stop the tears took too much breath, and she needed all the air she could get, so she gave in and cried. She cried for everything she could think of: She cried for Greg, locked away from the world for a crime that was not his; she cried for lonely, kind Ms. Peabody, vanished from the world without a trace, seemingly unable to be found with perhaps no one looking; she cried for the other anonymous victims slain at the cold hands of some vile killer, having the brute’s sinister eyes as their final sight glimpsed in this life; she cried for someone–anyone–to come save her, be it whomever wasn’t the killer–Edwards, Rick, Donnie–or anyone else inclined to don a cape and play the role of hero long enough to sweep her to safety; she even cried for Levon, whom she did not know but had, at one time, suspected may have been the Strangling Butcher (and might still have been one of them), but was now dead, his young life ripped away from existence, on his way to an eternal plot within the Earth’s soil. Most of all, she cried for herself, for her own feet to fly through the night and take her to the walls of sanctuary, far from the shadows, the night, and far from the shining blade of the killer. She cried, but it did her no good, only blurred her vision as she ran. Running was all that mattered–not crying. Running was her defense, her feet were her weapons. No more tears, only steps–rapid, hard, fleeting steps–until she thought her lungs would bust and her kneecaps would rip through the flesh of her legs.

At first, she ran down the streets, but soon realized what a mistake that was. She was left out in the open, a target for any searching eye. She ducked into the alleys, running the labyrinthine maze that coursed through the complex. They turned around every building, some leading to dead ends. She went up and down the streets, around corners, through other alleys, crossing ditches, chasing easements, even climbing a few fences. It didn’t take long for her to be lost, but she didn’t care. If she couldn’t find her way out, perhaps whoever was just in her bedroom couldn’t find their way in. The only fear was that, by the time she had successfully traversed this urban warren and returned to home, the intruder would be waiting for her. She was then gripped with the overwhelming urge to break from the alleys and back into the streets.


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